Some of the most-visited anime and manga spots
WASHINOMIYA SHRINE, SAITAMA
One of the main settings for Lucky Star, Washinomiya has become a tourist hot spot since the manga-turned-anime tale of four high school girls and their teenage preoccupations aired in 2007.
Several Lucky Star-themed events are held at the shrine each year. Even the traditional festival of Haji, during which devotees carry a portable shrine or mikoshi through town, has been modified to include a Lucky Star mikoshi.
GHIBLI MUSEUM, TOKYO
The one place in Japan that fans of anime doyen Hayao Miyazaki must not miss. Named after Miyazaki's studio, the museum sets out to immerse visitors in the world of My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away and Ponyo for the price of 1,000 yen (about S$13) per person. It is extremely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment.
JR HIDA-FURUKAWA STATION IN HIDA, GIFU
Up to 40 fans a day await the arrival of a train at the Japan Railway (JR) station's No.2 platform - just like a scene from hit anime movie Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name).
KANDA MYOJIN SHRINE, TOKYO
This 1,300-year-old Shinto shrine is also known as Anime Shrine because it provided the backdrop for not one but two anime series: LoveLive! and Etotama.
Hundreds of ema (wooden tablets on which one writes wishes or thanks) illustrated with the cute anime characters hang in the shrine's compound, which is just a five-minute walk from the otaku (nerd) hangout of Akihabara.
OARAI TOWN, IBARAKI
In the anime series Girls Und Panzer, high school girls engage in tank warfare for fun in the northern seaside town of Oarai, which lies in the area ravaged by the 2011 tsunami.
Oarai has embraced Girls Und Panzer to rejuvenate itself. In 2012, this allowed the town to draw 65,000 visitors to its annual Angler Fish Festival instead of the usual 25,000.
GUNDAM FRONT, TOKYO
Mobile Suit Gundam - the anime series featuring giant robots which battle one another while pondering the meaning of peace, politics and love - is enshrined on the seventh floor of the DiverCity mall in Tokyo. Watch a "best of" clip of the series in a mini domed theatre, build your own mini robot and take photos with the 18m bot guarding the entrance to the mall.
Lee Seok Hwai